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by Kirk Redenbaugh (kirkredenbaugh@outlook.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A story about the country's first openly atheist President, who assumes the Presidency following the death of the sitting President.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


PRESIDENT DANIEL STEVENS is standing at the podium in the
House Chamber. Seated behind him is Vice-President JAMES
WARREN and Speaker of the House VICTORIA WESTIN. President
Stevens is finishing up his address to a Joint Session of
                       PRESIDENT STEVENS
So, in closing, with the hard work
of ALL parties, and in looking
past our own political ideologies,
I see a bright future ahead. A
future full of hope and promise.
Thank you, God bless, and may God
bless these United States of
The members of Congress rise in standing ovation as they
cheer and whistle.
President Stevens steps away from the podium and turns to
shake hands with Speaker Westin and then Vice-President
                       JAMES WARREN
Great speech, Mr. President. Well
                       PRESIDENT STEVENS
Thanks, James. I appreciate your
work on it.
Stop by the residence later. We'll
have a drink to talk about this
new agenda.
A look of concern comes across the Vice-President's face as
he nods his head.
                       JAMES WARREN
Of course, Mr. President.
Are you alright, Mr. President?
                       PRESIDENT STEVENS
Yeah, yeah. I'm fine, James. I'll
see you at the residence.


President Stevens steps back and reaches into his breast
pocket to pull out a handkerchief and wipes his forehead. He
puts the handkerchief in his pocket and makes his way down
the aisle as he shakes hands and exchanges hugs with various
                       SPEAKER WESTIN
      (to James)
That's going to be a tough address
to rebut. Governor Browning has
his work cut out for him.
                       JAMES WARREN
I agree. But trust me, Browning
will find some small detail to...
Vice-President Warren stops in mid-sentence as he and the
Speaker notice four Secret Service Agents rushing up to the
Speaker's rostrum.
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #1
Mr. Vice-President, we need you to
come with us please.
                       JAMES WARREN
What's happening? What's wrong?
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #1
You need to come with us NOW, sir!
Vice-President Warren is rushed away as the House Sergeant
at Arms approaches Speaker Westin.
                       SERGEANT AT ARMS
Madam Speaker. The President has
just had a heart attack.
                       SPEAKER WESTIN
A heart attack?
The Sergeant at Arms nods his head as he looks back to the
doors to the chamber, then back to Speaker Westin.
                       SERGEANT AT ARMS
Yes, Madam Speaker. It appears to
have been a massive one. He's on
his way to Walter Reed right now.
As the Sergeant at Arms steps away from the rostrum, Speaker
Westin puts a trembling hand to her mouth as she slowly sits
down in her chair on the rostrum and starts to sob.


                       SPEAKER WESTIN
Oh my god.
Jack is in his dimly lit office, sitting at his desk sifting
through some papers when there is a KNOCK on the door. The
door opens and the President walks in.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (standing up)
Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Join me in the Oval for a minute,
would you please.
President Warren turns and walks back to the Oval Office,
his hands in his pockets.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (buttoning suit
Of course, sir.
Jack picks up an envelope from his desk. He looks at it for
a moment, then back over at the door as he slides the
envelope into his inside breast pocket and walks towards the
President Warren is pouring drinks as he glances at Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President?
                       JAMES WARREN
Before you hand me that letter of
resignation you have in your
pocket, I thought we might have a
drink together.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (clears throat)
Mr. President, I think it might...
                       JAMES WARREN
I'd like you to reconsider, Jack.


President Warren finishes pouring the drinks and picks them
up. He walks over to Jack and hands him one as he points at
the chair next to him and gestures for him to sit down.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President, in order to avoid
even the remotest sign of
instability in your
                       JAMES WARREN
This isn't my administration,
Jack. It's Dan's administration.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Due respect, Mr. President, but it
became YOUR administration when
you took that oath late last
                       JAMES WARREN
And you don't think that your
resignation would show instability
in the administration?
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (sighs heavily)
Sir, you have to convey that there
is a consensus among your staff.
In order to do that, I feel...
                       JAMES WARREN
Jack, I know that you weren't wild
about the idea of Dan wanting me
on the ticket.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President, my feel...
                       JAMES WARREN
Am I right?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, Mr President. You are
Jack takes a sip of his drink and looks down at his glass.
He then looks over at President Warren.


                       JAMES WARREN
He explained why he wanted me on
the ticket, didn't he?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, sir. He did.
                       JAMES WARREN
And the Cabinet? I assume that you
both discussed that as well.
Jack finishes his drink and sets the empty glass on the
table. He crosses his legs as he nods his head.
                       JACK RICHARDS
We did, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
My guess is that he told you that
he wanted an administration that
was as close to resembling the
diversity of the American people
as possible. Right?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, sir. He did.
President Warren finishes his drink in a quick gulp and
picks up Jack's empty glass. He walks over to the drink cart
and pours two more drinks.
                       JAMES WARREN
Jack, I want people on my staff
that will do the job and do it
President Warren walks back over to where Jack is sitting,
hands him his drink, and sits down.
                       JAMES WARREN
Political ideology aside, I need
someone that will work hard to
minimize the inevitable mistakes
and keep the staff fired up.
Jack takes a sip of his drink and looks down at the glass in
his hand then back to President Warren.
                       JACK RICHARDS
You don't think that your current
C.o.S is capable of that, sir?


                       JAMES WARREN
      (shakes head)
Not for what we're going to need
to gear up for. She's been with me
since my days in the Senate, but
she's not cut out for this.
                       JACK RICHARDS
You know, sir, a lot of us
Republicans couldn't get a bead on
your political leanings. You voted
with Republicans as often as you
did with the Dems.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well, that tends to happen when
you're a Moderate Independent.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, Mr. President, I suppose so.
      (sips drink)
But you almost single-handedly
built the Independents into a
fairly sizable caucus and you were
part of the Congressional
Leadership because of that.
                       JAMES WARREN
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (shaking his head)
Mr. President, you and I don't
share the same political views. We
disagree on virtually everything.
                       JAMES WARREN
Not the least of which is my
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, sir.
President Warren takes a sip of his drink and nods.
                       JAMES WARREN
That was a sticking point with Dan
as well. But he respected my
views. And I respected his.


President Warren stands up and walks over to the fireplace.
He takes a drink from his glass and turns to Jack.
                       JAMES WARREN
Give me six months, Jack. If after
that time, you still feel the need
to resign, I'll accept it. No
questions asked. Can you do that
for me?
Jack looks over at President Warren then takes a quick sip
of his drink. He then stands up and walks over to the
fireplace to join the President.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Six months, Mr. President?
                       JAMES WARREN
Six months. Help me finish what
Dan started.
Jack places his drink on the mantle and holds out his hand.
The President extends his hand and they shake.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you, Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I serve at the pleasure of the
President, sir.
Jack picks up his drink from the mantle and raises his glass
to the President, who raises his glass in return.
                       JAMES WARREN
Okay then. Why don't you get the
senior staff together and break
out that short list of VP
candidates. We're gonna need to
get the ball rolling on a nominee.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President. There was no short
                       JAMES WARREN
I'm sorry?
President Warren walks slowly back to his chair, then turns
to Jack.


                       JAMES WARREN
You guys never even put together a
short list of possible candidates?
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (shaking his head)
No, sir. You were Dan's only
choice for a running mate.
President Warren smiles and chuckles softly as he shakes his
head. He finishes his drink and walks towards his desk.
                       JAMES WARREN
I never DID like playing poker
with Dan. He'd always go all in,
regardless of his hand.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, Mr. President.
President Warren sits down at his desk and runs his hands
across it. He then sits back in his chair.
                       JAMES WARREN
      (sighs heavily)
This was something that I never
aspired to, Jack. I never saw
myself in this chair, behind this
                       JACK RICHARDS
You could have declined his offer,
Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
I suppose you're right, Jack. I
...hell, I dunno.
President Warren stands up and walks over to Jack and puts
his hand on his shoulder.
                       JAMES WARREN
Let's get a list of nominees
together and begin the vetting
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, Mr. President.


                       JAMES WARREN
I'll put my two cents in as well,
But let's have a short list
together by the end of the week.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I'll get senior staff on it first
Jack turns and walks towards the door.
                       JAMES WARREN
Hey. What's this meeting on the
schedule with the R.L.C.?
                       JACK RICHARDS
The Religious Liberty Coalition?
That was a meeting that I set up
for President Stevens. Would you
like me to cancel it?
                       JAMES WARREN
      (shaking his head)
No. I'll sit down with them. Let's
keep the meeting.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Are you sure, Mr. President? It's
no trouble to cancel.
                       JAMES WARREN
      (shakes head)
No, we'll meet with them. See what
they have to say.
Jack walks back towards the President with a puzzled look on
his face.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Sir, you are aware that this is a
group of religious leaders.
                       JAMES WARREN
What? Do you think I'm going to
burst into flames just by meeting
with some religious leaders, Jack?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Of course not, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
We'll keep the meeting. But I want
senior staff in on this one.


                       JACK RICHARDS
Yes, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Okay. Good night, Jack.
                       JAMES WARREN
Good night, sir.
President Warren and Jack are walking along the portico
discussing the day's schedule. A Dress Marine comes to
attention and salutes as they approach. President Warren
returns the salute.
                       JAMES WARREN
...just as long as she knows that
I'm in no rush to move in to the
residence. I understand the need
for protocol and all that but
she's burying her husband for
cryin' out loud, so let her take
whatever time she needs.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I'll see to it, Mr. President.
President Warren walks over to his desk and opens a folder
as he takes a sip of his coffee and sits down. Jack stands
in front of the desk and opens his notebook.
                       JAMES WARREN
So, what do we have on the
schedule today?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Senior Staff will be here
momentarily. You have your
Security Briefing at nine in the
Sit Room. Prelim reports show
everything fairly quiet, Mr.
President Warren sits down at his desk and puts on his
                       JAMES WARREN
Yeah. And how long do you think
that's gonna last?


                       JACK RICHARDS
I suppose you'll find that out at
your Security Briefing, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well. Not leaving much room for
error on that one, are you, Jack?
                       JACK RICHARDS
No, sir.
The door to the Oval Office opens and President Warren's
Secretary enters.
Mr. President? Senior Staff is
                       JAMES WARREN
Okay. Thank you. Send them in
Senior Staff enters the Oval Office and they all gather in
the center of the room.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Good Morning, Mr. President
                       ALEX EASTON
Mr. President. Good morning.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Good Morning, sir.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Mr. President. Good morning, sir.
President Warren gets up from his chair and walks to the
front of his desk.
                       JAMES WARREN
Good morning, everybody. Please,
sit down.
As the staff sits down, President Warren sits in a chair
next to the sofa as Jack sits in the chair next to him.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Okay. We have a State Funeral to
prepare for so obviously all
legislating is on hold.


                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Yeah. I'll be meeting with Major
Bricker from the Military District
of Washington at, uhhh, ten o'
clock. I'll get up to speed and
meet with you afterwards.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (to Alex)
Where are we at on a eulogy?
Alex sits forward on the couch and sets his notebook on the
coffee table.
                       ALEX EASTON
      (clears throat)
Katherine and I will be closing
our doors when we're done here.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Okay. Good.
                       JAMES WARREN
Both of you get with me after
lunch with a rough draft. I'll
give you some of my personal
thoughts then as well.
                       ALEX EASTON
Of course, Mr. President.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Mr. President, I know that the
next several days will be about
the State Funeral for President
Stevens. But...
President Warren looks over at Karen. Jack glances at
President Warren then back over to Karen.
                       JAMES WARREN
Uh oh.
                       JACK RICHARDS
What is it, Karen?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
      (sighs heavily)
Sir, I'm already getting questions
about your...lack of belief...I
guess you'd say?


                       JAMES WARREN
Karen, you can say atheism. It's
not like it's news to me.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Yes, Mr. President.
Jack sits forward in his chair and looks over at President
Warren then back over to Karen.
                       JACK RICHARDS
It's a non-story, Karen. Right now
our focus is the State Funeral and
the period of National mourning.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (to Karen)
Who's asking about that already?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Umm, The Washington Post and the
Chicago Trib. They hit me with it
after my briefing about President
Stevens' heart attack and passing.
Alex sits forward on the couch and places his notebook on
the coffee table and looks over at Jack then over at
President Warren.
                       ALEX EASTON
Mr. President, if I may?
President Warren looks over the top of his glasses at Alex,
then takes his glasses off.
                       JAMES WARREN
                       ALEX EASTON
I think there are going to be a
great many people, especially
those within our own party, that
are going to have significant
issues with a President that they
may feel doesn't share their
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I don't see that as the case.
President Warren glances over at Katherine and smiles as he
puts his glasses back on.


Alex sits back on the couch and looks over at Katherine as
he clicks his pen.
                       ALEX EASTON
Really? How so?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Alex, you know as well as I do
that the Founding Fathers, when
drafting the Constitution, didn't
include a litmus test or any sort
of clause that required belief in
some sort of supreme being or
deity of any kind.
Mike closes his notebook and rests it on his lap as he moves
forward on the couch.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Actually, I think I have to side
with Alex on this, Mr. President.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, imagine my surprise at that.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Look. All I'm saying is that Alex
does make a good point here.
Katherine raises her hands in disbelief as she shakes her
Jack sits back in his chair as he glances over at Alex, then
looks back over at Katherine.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Did the two of you see a different
set of election results than the
rest of us?
                       ALEX EASTON
      (sighs heavily)
What's your point?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
My point is that the voters were
able to look past the atheism
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
C'mon, Katherine. You know as well
as I do that the voters vote the
top of the ticket.


Alex glances over at Mike and then over at Katherine as he
picks up his notebook.
                       ALEX EASTON
And the atheism issue may have
been why our margin of victory was
so narrow in our first race. It
was obvious that our base had a
concern about it.
President Warren takes his glasses off and tosses them on
the end table next to his chair.
                       JAMES WARREN
Listen guys. I know that this is
going to be a bit of an issue. To
my knowledge, this country has
never had an openly atheist
President in this office.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Mr. President. I think I may be
able to hold them off for a few
days on this. But I do believe
it'll eventually need to be
Jack looks at his watch and looks over at Karen.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Then we'll address it after the
State Funeral. Until then, the
focus is the memorial.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Jack sits back in his chair and opens his notebook. He looks
over at President Warren, then over to the others.
                       JACK RICHARDS
We also need to get started on a
short list for VP nominees.
      (to Alex and Mike)
I'd like you two to take point on
this one.
Mike and Alex look at each and back over to Jack. Mike opens
his notebook and writes down a few notes.


                       ALEX EASTON
I think we can get a list together
for you by the end of the week,
Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Let's keep an open mind on this
one. Okay?
                       ALEX EASTON
Of course, Mr. President.
                       JACK RICHARDS
That's it for now everybody. Thank
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you, everyone.
President Warren stands up and walks over to his desk as the
staff all stand up and walk towards the door.
                       ALEX EASTON
Thank you, Mr. President.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Mr. President, thank you.
Jack walks over to the chair next to President Warren's desk
as he watches the staff leave the Oval Office.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Thank you, sir.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Thank you, Mr. President.
President Warren sits down at his desk and gestures for Jack
to sit down. Jack sets his notebook down on the desk and
sits down.
                       JAMES WARREN
That went rather well, don't ya
                       JACK RICHARDS
They'll come around, Mr.
                       JAMES WARREN
Do you think Alex has a point?


Jack crosses his arms and looks over at President Warren and
                       JACK RICHARDS
I think it's a valid concern. He
wasn't wrong about the first
election, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
And what about Katherine's
argument about the reelect?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Well, she did make an excellent
point, Mr. President. I think a
lot of those in our base came
around to the fact that President
Stevens wanted bridge the
differences in ideology.
President Warren sits back in his chair and nods his head.
He looks around his desk for his glasses, then gets up and
walks over to the end table where he put them down.
                       JAMES WARREN
Hey, I haven't had any breakfast
yet. Have you eaten?
Jack stands up and turns to face President Warren. He
buttons his suit jacket and picks up his notebook.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Umm, no. No, I haven't, Mr.
                       JAMES WARREN
Let's head down to the mess and
grab some breakfast then.
Jack walks over to President Warren as he checks his watch.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President. Don't you think it
would be more appropriate to order
something and have it brought up
here to the Oval?
                       JAMES WARREN
Naaahhh. We can do that some other
time. I wanna take a walk around
and meet everyone.


                       JACK RICHARDS
Of course, Mr. President.
Katherine walks in to the Roosevelt Room and closes the door
behind her. Seated at the table are JANET LAYNEY, a slim,
fit and attractive woman of middle age, smartly dressed, and
REVEREND LOWELL, a portly man in his mid to late 50s. They
both stand as Katherine approaches the table.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Ahh, Miss Nicole.
Katherine shakes Janet's hand and then Reverend Lowell's
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Good afternoon, Miss Layney.
Reverend Lowell. I'm sorry, but
the Presi...
Janet Layney casually glances at her watch then looks back
up at Katherine.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Miss Nicole, I believe we
scheduled this meeting for two
o'clock this afternoon. It's now
Katherine slowly pulls out a chair as she watches her and
she sits down.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Uh huh. Well, as I was saying, the
President will be here to join us
shortly. And please, call me
Janet Layney smiles smugly and nods her head.
Katherine sets her notebook on the table and glances at her
                       REVEREND LOWELL
I certainly hope it isn't anything
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, nothing TOO serious,
Reverend. Just the nagging
business of running the country.


                       REVEREND LOWELL
Ahhh, okay then.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Actually, I think the President is
finishing up a phone call.
                       JANET LAYNEY
And may I ask with whom?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
The Pope.
Katherine quickly glances at her watch again, then back to
The door opens and President Warren, Jack, Mike, and Alex
walk in. Janet, Reverend Lowell, and Katherine all stand
                       JAMES WARREN
Good afternoon, everyone. My
apologies for running late.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Miss Nicole was just explaining
that you were on a phone call.
                       JAMES WARREN
Yes. A, uhh, a sympathy call from
His Holiness.
President Warren and Jack walk over to the coffee cart and
each pour themselves some coffee.
President Warren walks over to the table as Alex pulls out
the chair for him. He then take a seat himself.
                       JAMES WARREN
Oh. Thank you, Alex.
                       ALEX EASTON
Mr. President.
Jack takes a seat next to President Warren as he sets his
coffee down on the table.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
      (to Mike)
Mike, how are your wife and
daughter these days?


Mike slowly nods his head as he looks across the table at
Reverend Lowell.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
They, uhhh, they're doing great,
Reverend. Thank you.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Please. Give them my best.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
I certainly will, Reverend. Thank
you very much.
Reverend Lowell sits back in his chair as he looks around at
those at the table.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Mr. President. On behalf of the
R.L.C., let me be among the first
to offer our condolences on the
passing of President Stevens. It's
a terrible loss.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you, Reverend. That is very
much appreciated.
Reverend Lowell looks over at Janet as he rests his arms on
the table.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Mr. President. We originally
scheduled this meeting with
President Stevens to discuss
issues that we felt needed to be
                       JAMES WARREN
And what issues might those be,
Reverend Lowell.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Well, uhh, we...we had some
concerns that, umm...
                       JANET LAYNEY
Sir. We're concerned that the
values of this nation, the very
values that this country was
founded on, may be in danger.


President Warren looks around at those seated around the
table. He sits back in his chair and looks back over at
                       JAMES WARREN
In danger? How so, Miss Layney?
                       JANET LAYNEY
Sir, there are those of us within
the R.L.C. who feel that our
deeply held beliefs may be met
with hostility.
President Warren takes a sip of his coffee as he looks over
at Janet over his cup. He sets the cup back on its saucer
and crosses his arms in front of him.
                       JAMES WARREN
Hostility is an awfully strong
word to use, Miss Layney.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Nevertheless, Mr. Warren, our
                       JAMES WARREN
President Warren.
                       JANET LAYNEY
I'm sorry?
President Warren glares at Janet as he folds his hands
together. He looks down at the table, then back up at Janet.
                       JAMES WARREN
It's PRESIDENT Warren. And in
regards to your beliefs, Miss
Layney. You are certainly entitled
to them, as am I.
Reverend Lowell sits forward in his seat as he glances at
Janet. He rests his arms on the table as he looks over at
President Warren.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Mr. President, may I ask a
President Warren holds his gaze on Janet momentarily then
looks over at Reverend Lowell.
                       JAMES WARREN
Certainly, Reverend.


                       REVEREND LOWELL
As an atheist, have you ever taken
the time to actually read the
                       JAMES WARREN
Yes. Yes, I have, Reverend. As a
citizen have either of you ever
actually read the Constitution?
Reverend Lowell and Janet look at each other then back at
President Warren.
Katherine looks down at the table as she tries to hide her
                       REVEREND LOWELL
I'm sorry?
President Warren unbuttons his suit jacket as he sits back
in his chair and crosses his legs as he takes a sip of his
                       JAMES WARREN
The Constitution, Reverend. In
particular, the First Amendment.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
I-I'm not sure I follow.
                       JAMES WARREN
What part tripped you up?
Alex looks over at Jack and shakes his head. Jack puts up
his hand and nods his head.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Sir, I don't thi...
                       JAMES WARREN
"Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of
religion, or the free exercise
thereof." There's your religious
liberty, Reverend. Right there in
the first sentence.
Reverend Lowell quickly glances at Janet. He then looks back
over to President Warren.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Sir, if I may?


                       JAMES WARREN
Of course.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Our coalition feels that this
administration may not have the
best interests of this nation in
mind when it comes to legislating
on a number of issues.
Jack takes a sip of his coffee as he glances at Janet.
                       JACK RICHARDS
And what issues might those be,
Janet looks over at Jack as President Warren glances at
Jack, then over to Janet.
                       JANET LAYNEY
I think you know what issues I'm
referring to, Jack.
Jack takes another sip of his coffee as he looks at Janet.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I do. But I'd like to hear YOU say
them, Miss Layney.
                       JANET LAYNEY
You DON'T want to do this, Jack.
Jack leans back in his chair as he looks at Janet.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Humor me, Miss Layney.
Janet sits back in her chair and drops her hands down to her
lap as she looks at Jack.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Very well. The appointment of
pro-life judges to the bench. Less
government intrusion on issues of
faith based companies conducting
business as they see fit.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Miss Layney, couldn't it be seen
that religious liberty is just a
cover for companies to


Janet looks over at Katherine with a scowl. President Warren
looks over at Jack and then over at Katherine.
Katherine glances around the table and then back to Janet.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I mean, we hear the reports of
bakeries that discriminate against
gay couples. Local officials
denying marriage licenses to gay
couples. Isn't THAT what this is
                       JANET LAYNEY
Miss Nicole. I don't know what
kind of lifestyle you subscribe
to. But I believe in the biblical
definition of marriage.
Katherine glances down at the table as she taps her pen on
her notebook. She then looks back up at Janet.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Due respect, Miss Layney. But
there IS no biblical definition of
                       JAMES WARREN
Miss Layney. Do you believe the
Bible to be the actual word of
Reverend Lowell looks over at Janet. Janet shifts in her
chair as she glances down at her lap and then back up at
President Warren.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Yes, Mr. President, I do.
                       JAMES WARREN
Okay. Well, were I a less open
minded individual, this would be
the part where I tell you that
First Timothy, Chapter Two, Verse
Twelve commands, "But I suffer not
a woman to teach, nor to usurp
authority over the man, but to
remain silent."
Jack smirks as he take another sip of coffee and glances
over at President Warren.


Katherine and Mike look at each other as Alex glances up at
the ceiling and shakes his head as he puts a hand over his
                       JANET LAYNEY
Mr. President, I...
                       JAMES WARREN
Miss Layney, you AND your
coalition may see me as an
accidental President or perhaps
even as a reluctant one. But I AM
the President nonetheless.
Alex sits forward in his chair as he looks over at President
                       ALEX EASTON
Mr. President, I don't think they
meant to imply...
President Warren glares at Alex and then looks back over at
Reverend Lowell and Janet.
                       JAMES WARREN
I took an oath to preserve,
protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States.
And that is my intention. And it
is my intent to do just for ALL
people. Not a select few.
Janet sits back in her chair as she crosses her legs and
looks over to President Warren.
                       JANET LAYNEY
And where was your left hand
resting when you took that oath,
Mr. President?
President Warren reaches into his inside breast pocket and
pulls out a small book. He looks at it briefly and then
places it on the table in front of him.
                       JAMES WARREN
On this copy of the Constitution.
It was a gift from my father when
I graduated West Point.
                       ALEX EASTON
Mr. President, Perhaps we should


President Warren picks up the book and slips back into his
breast pocket.
                       JAMES WARREN
Miss Layney, my late wife was a
deeply religious woman, . But she
respected my views on religion, as
did President Stevens. I lost her
on 9/11. An act of religious
Reverend Lowell looks around at the others at the table,
then back to President Warren.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
I'm sorry, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Reverend, I can assure you that I
have no intention of leading this
nation to ruin.
President Warren looks over at Jack then back to Reverend
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Mr. President. I think if we just
had some assurances that our
issues will be taken seriously.
Jack leans forward and looks over at President Warren and
then over at Reverend Lowell.
                       JAMES WARREN
And just what kind of assurances
might that be, Reverend Lowell?
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Well, I...
President Warren rests his arms on the table as he clasps
his hands together in front of him and leans forward. He
stares intently at Reverend Lowell.
                       JAMES WARREN
Reverend, if the issues you are
referring to have to do with using
the guise of religious freedom as
a way for a baker to discriminate
against a gay couple, you are
sadly mistaken.


Katherine sits forward in her chair and looks over at
President Warren.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Mr. President. If I may?
                       JAMES WARREN
Of course, Katherine.
Katherine turns to look over at Reverend Lowell and Janet.
She puts her hands together as she glances down at the table
and then up at Reverend Lowell and Janet.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Reverend Lowell. Do you think that
morality is something that can or
should be legislated?
                       REVEREND LOWELL
I'm not quite sure I understand,
Miss Nicole.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, I think it's a pretty
straight forward question,
President Warren leans back in his chair and puts his hands
behind his head as he looks over at Jack.
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Do I think that morality is
something that can be legislated?
In what way, Miss Nicole?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
The eighteenth amendment was an
attempt to legislate morality by
prohibiting the manufacturing,
sale and use of alcohol. Would you
                       REVEREND LOWELL
Well, yes. I suppose I would.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
And the late Senator Goldwater, a
Conservative, stated in his
opposition vote to the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, that morality
cannot be legislated.
Janet sighs heavily as she looks over at Katherine.


                       JANET LAYNEY
What exactly is your point, Miss
Katherine sighs and looks down at her notebook and then back
up at Janet.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
My point is that the Conservative
Right has absolutely no problem
with trying to legislate who can
marry who, or what type of couple
can adopt, or even what a woman
can or can't do with her own body
in regards to abortion.
Alex sets his notebook on the table and looks over at
                       ALEX EASTON
Katherine. I really don't think...
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
But if Liberals or even Moderates
so much as contemplate legislating
against the discriminatory
practices of those who, for
religious reasons, refuse service
to a gay couple, they suddenly
scream about governmental
                       JACK RICHARDS
I think Katherine makes an
excellent point.
Jack takes another sip of coffee and then sets his cup back
on the saucer. He glances at Janet then down at his tie as
he quickly swipes it.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
And I believe it was also
Goldwater who said, "Religious
factions will go on imposing their
will on others unless the decent
people connected to them recognize
that religion has no place in
public policy. They must..."


                       JAMES WARREN
"...they must make their views
known without trying to make their
views the only alternative."
                       JANET LAYNEY
Well, quaint Goldwater quotes
aside, things may get very
difficult for this administration
come election time.
Jack leans forward in his chair and glares at Janet.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Is that a threat, Miss Layne?
Janet looks over at Jack and glares at him.
                       JANET LAYNEY
Look at it as words of caution,
President Warren sits forward in his chair and looks over at
Janet and Reverend Lowell and puts his hands on the table.
                       JAMES WARREN
Miss Layney. I kept this meeting
out of respect to you AND to
President Stevens. But I will NOT
be threatened or...cautioned, as
you say.
                       JACK RICHARDS
We're done here. Have a good day,
Miss Layney.
                       JANET LAYNEY
President Warren and Jack both stand up and leave the room.
Alex looks over at Mike and Katherine as he picks up his
notebook and leaves.
Mike reaches across the table to shake hands with Reverend
Lowell and Janet.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Reverend. Miss Layne.


                       JANET LAYNEY
      (to Katherine)
Miss Nichols. As always.
Katherine lightly shakes Janet's hand and turns to leave as
Mike follows her.
Mike is sitting at his desk reading through a file and
writing down notes in his notebook. He closes the file and
takes another one from the pile on his desk when Alex walks
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
                       ALEX EASTON
Making some progress on the VP
Mike closes the file and sits back in his chair as he tosses
his pen on his desk.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Uhh, yeah. A bit anyway.
Alex lays his notebook on a chair in front of Mike's desk
and sits down on the corner of the desk. He picks up a file
from the stack and opens it.
                       ALEX EASTON
Anyone jump out at ya?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
There's a couple. We might have a
problem getting them through the
Senate though.
Alex picks up another file and opens it, He looks through a
few pages in it and then closes it.
                       ALEX EASTON
Well, it's not just the Senate we
have to worry about. They have to
be able to make it through the
House too.


                       MIKE BRADSHAW
I'm not too worried about the
House. I think we have the votes
Alex stands up and looks over at Mike. He picks up a few of
the files and his notebook.
                       ALEX EASTON
What's your concern?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
The Senate Majority Leader.
                       JAMES WARREN
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
                       ALEX EASTON
Mike sits forward and rests his arms on his desk as he looks
up at Alex and shakes his head.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
He's an ultra-Conservative. We had
a hard enough time with him when
Stevens was President.
                       ALEX EASTON
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
And now...with President Warren? A
Moderate Independent?
Alex walks towards the doorway and looks back at Mike.
                       ALEX EASTON
Well, we need a short list by
tomorrow. So...
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
                       ALEX EASTON
I'll read through these and make
some notes and get back with ya.


                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Alex begins to walk away and then turns to look back at
                       ALEX EASTON
What's your take on today's
meeting with Reverend Lowell and
Janet Layney?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Whaddya mean?
Alex walks back over to the front of Mike's desk. He holds
up his arms and shakes his head.
                       ALEX EASTON
You can't possibly tell me that
you thought it went well.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
C'mon, Alex. They essentially
threatened political retribution
if he didn't cave to their issues.
                       ALEX EASTON
There are any number of issues
that we want to legislate on that
are going to need support of
Conservatives. How in the hell are
we going to get...ANYTHING passed
if he pisses off the Right.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
We're his political advisors,
Alex. We talk him through the
options. In the end, what he does
with that advice is up to him.
Alex nods his head and turns to leave as Karen walks into
Mike's office. She puts her hand on Alex's arm to stop him.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Listen. I know that it's way too
early to be talking about this,
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
What is it?


                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Where do you think President
Warren is on reelection?
                       ALEX EASTON
You're right. It is too early to
be thinking about this.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Whaddya got, Karen?
Karen opens her notebook and pulls out a piece of paper. She
hands it to Alex. He reads through it and hands it to Mike.
Mike reads through it and then turns it and holds it up.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
There is NO way that THIS guy even
comes CLOSE to getting the
Republican nomination. Not with
this kind of rhetoric.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
But that kind of rhetoric THIS
early could get a lot of people
                       ALEX EASTON
She's right. We should probably
talk to Jack.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Yeah. Okay. I'll get us some time
with him.
President Warren is sitting in his cabin on Air Force One
gazing out the window when there is a KNOCK on the door.
                       JAMES WARREN
The door opens and Jack walks in. He closes the door behind
him and walks over to the desk and sits down.
                       JACK RICHARDS
It was a beautiful service, Mr.
                       JAMES WARREN


                       JACK RICHARDS
I thought the eulogy was
especially poignant.
                       JAMES WARREN
Jack looks out the window then back over to President
                       JACK RICHARDS
Is there anything you need, sir?
President Warren turns slowly in his chair to face Jack. In
his hand he is holding a folded piece of paper. He holds it
up to show it to Jack.
                       JAMES WARREN
      (sighs heavily)
I need someone to tell me why kids
in schools are continuing to get
Jack takes the piece of paper and reads it. He lays it on
the desk and looks up at President Warren when there is
another KNOCK on the door.
                       JAMES WARREN
Katherine walks in to the cabin with a folded piece of paper
and slowly walks over to President Warren.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Mr. President.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I'll take it, Katherine. Thanks.
Jacks opens the paper and reads it. He folds it back up and
looks up at Katherine and lightly nods his head. Katherine
places a hand on President Warren's shoulder and he brings
his hand up to place it on hers.
                       JAMES WARREN
How many?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. Presid...


                       JAMES WARREN
Dammit, Jack! How many?!
                       JACK RICHARDS
Sev... seven confirmed dead.
Another eleven wounded, four
President Warren picks up the folded piece of paper and
opens it up. He looks at it for a moment and then drops it
on his desk. He turns to look at Katherine and then over to
                       JAMES WARREN
Jack, could you give us a few
moments please.
Jack looks up at Katherine as he gets up from his chair.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Of course, Mr. President.
President Warren and Katherine watch as Jack leaves the
cabin. Katherine sits down in the chair where Jack had been
sitting and takes the President's hand in hers.
                       JAMES WARREN
I need you to draft me a speech on
today's shooting.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Of course, Mr. President?
Katherine wipes tears from her eyes as she continues to hold
President Warren's hand.
                       JAMES WARREN
Katherine? Do you think this job
would be any easier if I...
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
If what, Mr. President?
President Warren picks up the second piece of paper. He
opens it up and reads it.
                       JAMES WARREN
Nothing. Nevermind.


Katherine stands up and walks towards the cabin door. She
puts her hand on the door knob then turns to the President.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I don't think the job would be any
easier if you believed in God, Mr.
President. I think the sentiment
used in this sort of situation
just comes easier.
President Warren turns to face Katherine. He gets up from
his chair and walk over to her and gives her a hug. They
hold each other tightly before breaking their embrace.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you for understanding,
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Of course, Mr. President
                       JAMES WARREN
Go ahead and get started on that
President Warren and Jack are walking slowly along the
portico. Jack opens his notebook and lifts up a few pages.
                       JACK RICHARDS
CNN has asked about your interest
in doing a sort of town hall
meeting at the high school
sometime in the next few weeks.
                       JAMES WARREN
You think we should do it?
Jack shrugs as he looks over at President Warren.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I don't know, sir. My biggest
concern is that it may appear to
be politicizing an horrific act of
                       JAMES WARREN
Ya know...I have NEVER understood
that. Why should it be seen as
politicizing? Why is speaking out
against these very acts seen as


                       JAMES WARREN (cont'd)
President Warren and Jack stop at a bench and sit down.
President Warren leans forward and clasps his hands together
as Jack closes his notebook.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I can have Alex and Katherine put
some ideas together as far as
language is concerned.
President Warren reaches inside his suit jacket and pulls
out a pack of cigarettes. He takes one out and lights it. He
takes a deep drag and exhales.
                       JAMES WARREN
C'mon, Jack. What's the use in
doing the town hall if we're going
to water down how it's done?
Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President. We have a lot on
our plates right now and the
outcome on a lot of it depends on
how we handle this. If we don't
handle this delicately, it could
very well hurt us in the polls.
President Warren pounds his fist on his leg and stands up.
Jack places his notebook on the table next to the bench and
crosses his arms in front of him.
                       JAMES WARREN
Screw delicate, Jack! Enough is
enough. This needs to be addressed
and needs to be addressed now!
Jack stands up and begins to pace. He puts his hands in his
pockets and walks over to President Warren.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President. If this isn't
handled properly, we could very
well lose any meaningful support
from any number of organizations
in terms of reelection.
President Warren stands directly in front of Jack and glares
at him.


                       JAMES WARREN
Tell me something, Jack. Who's
doing the politicizing now?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President, I...
                       JAMES WARREN
      (walks away)
Have Karen come see me in the Oval
in an hour. That'll be all, Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Ye...yes, Mr. President.
President Warren is sitting on the couch reading through a
file when there is a KNOCK on the door. The door opens and
his secretary walks in.
Mr. President? Karen is here to
see you?
                       JAMES WARREN
Yes. Send her in.
President Warren closes the file and stands up as Karen
walks in.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Good afternoon, Mr. President.
Jack said you wanted to see me?
                       JAMES WARREN
Yeah. Please. Have a seat.
Karen sits down on the couch and President sits in his chair
next to the couch.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
What can I help you with, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
This town hall meeting that CNN
has asked about doing. What are
your thoughts on it?


                       KAREN MARTINEZ
My thoughts, Mr. President?
                       JAMES WARREN
Yes. Do you think it's something
that we should do?
Karen lays her notebook on the coffee table and sits back on
the couch.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Well, I think it's an excellent
way to engage with the younger
people out there.
                       JAMES WARREN
I want your honest opinion, Karen.
Should or shouldn't we do this
town hall?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Given the current circumstances?
President Warren looks over the top of his glasses at Karen,
then slowly takes them off as he crosses his legs.
                       JAMES WARREN
Given the current circumstances.
Is thi...
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
                       JAMES WARREN
Karen sits forward as she rests her elbows on her knees and
clasps her hands together.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Mr. President. As I said earlier,
this is an excellent opportunity
to engage with the younger people.
Some of who might be voting for
the first time.
President Warren stands up and walks over to the front of
his desk and lays the file down. He turns and rests against
the front of the desk.


                       JAMES WARREN
You don't think it would be seen
as political grandstanding?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I'd see it as anything but, Mr.
      (clears throat)
Sir. These kids have just been
through a terrible tragedy. They
need to hear more than just the
oft repeated platitudes of
thoughts and prayers.
President Warren walks away from the desk and over towards
the couch.
                       JAMES WARREN
That was the thought that was
going through my head.
Karen stands up and faces President Warren. She puts her
hands together and looks down at the floor momentarily, then
back up at President Warren.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Sir. If you're concerned about it
looking politicized...
President Warren walks slowly over to the fireplace and
looks up at the portrait of George Washington.
                       JAMES WARREN
It's a town hall. The students
will be asking their own
questions, right?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Yes, Mr. President.
President Warren looks down at the floor and then starts to
nod his head as he turns and looks over at Karen.
                       JAMES WARREN
Karen, tell CNN we'll do the town
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
When would you like to schedule
it, Mr. President?


                       JAMES WARREN
2 weeks. Make it for 2 weeks from
Karen picks up her notebook and makes a note as she heads to
the door.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I'll get right on it, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thanks, Karen.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Thank you, Mr. President.
Jack is sitting at his desk looking out the window when
there is a KNOCK on the door. He continues to look out the
window as there is a second KNOCK on the door.
                       JACK RICHARDS
The door opens and Mike steps into the office and walks
towards Jack's desk.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Have you got a second?
                       JACK RICHARDS
What is it?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Hey, are you alright?
                       JACK RICHARDS
What do you need, Mike?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Ummm, yeah, I wanted to touch base
with you on something I just heard
about the late President's
education reform.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Has there been some movement?
Mike opens his notebook and lifts the first few pages.


                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Umm, yeah. Both Dems AND
Republicans are pushing to get it
out of committee.
                       JACK RICHARDS
And Independents?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
It sounds like they've made some
significant concessions to get
this thing to a vote.
We got it, Jack.
Jack let's out a deep sigh and turns to face Mike. He stands
up and buttons his suit jacket. As he walks from behind his
desk, he extends his hand. Mike shakes his hand and smiles.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Finally some good news to give the
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Listen, is everything okay?
                       JACK RICHARDS
We'll talk later, okay.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Yeah. Yeah, sure.
Katherine is standing in line at the checkout of a grocery
store. As she waits in line, a man behind her is trying to
get her attention.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
Excuse me, Miss?
Katherine turns slightly as she starts to put her items on
the conveyor.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
                       MALE CUSTOMER
I noticed you only have a few
items. You could've used the self


Katherine continues to put her items on the conveyor as she
looks at the customer.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yes. I could've. But, as you can
clearly see, I've chosen not to.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
That's the reason they have them.
For those who don't have a lot of
items so others don't have to wait
as long in line.
Katherine turns to the customer as the cashier starts
ringing up her items.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Actually, sir, they're optional,
not mandatory. I choose not to use
them because I feel they take a
job away from somebody who may
need one.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
You've got like...five items that
you're buyin' and it woulda been
quicker for the both of us if you
had just used the damn self
The cashier ringing up Katherine's items picks up the phone
and mutters into the receiver.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
So this about YOUR convenience?
                       MALE CUSTOMER
Yeah. It's about MY convenience
and about YOU makin' people have
to wait in freakin' line.
The STORE MANAGER walks over to the register and talks to
the cashier. He then walks over to the end of the checkout
where Katherine and the customer are standing.
                       STORE MANAGER
I'm sorry, folks. What seems to be
the issue here?
                       MALE CUSTOMER
This lady decided she was too good
to use the self checkout for the
five items she had so I had to


                       MALE CUSTOMER (cont'd)
stand here and wait.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (to Store Manager)
Sir, I simply chose not to use the
self checkout because I believe
they tend to take away jobs from
people that need them.
                       STORE MANAGER
And that is a perfectly valid
point. ma'am.
      (to Male Customer)
Sir, if you'd like, I can get you
rung up over at the next lane.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
So you're takin' THIS lady's
                       STORE MANAGER
I'm not taking anybody's side,
sir. What I AM doing is trying to
help everybody involved here.
The customer takes his cart over to the next lane as the
manager logs onto the register.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
I'll tell ya. This is bullshit. Ya
got self checkout lanes for a
goddamn reason.
The manager starts ringing up the customers items as he
looks up at him.
                       STORE MANAGER
Sir, I understand your
frustration, but I'm going to have
to ask you to watch your language.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
What the hell does my LANGUAGE
have to do with it?!
                       STORE MANAGER
It's just that this is a family
store and some people may be
offended by the vulgar language.


                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (to Store Manager)
You don't have to worry about my
being offended. I work in D.C. and
have heard worse.
                       MALE CUSTOMER
      (to Katherine)
I'll give you worse, bitch!
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
That's all you've got? You'll have
to do A LOT better than that.
The manager stops ringing up the customer's items and picks
up the phone.
                       STORE MANAGER
Code fifty-five at register six.
Code five five at register six
The manager hangs up the phone and looks towards the two
security officers walking to the register.
                       STORE MANAGER
      (to customer)
Sir! I'm going to have to ask you
to leave!
                       MALE CUSTOMER
What?! You're kickin' me outta
here because of THIS bitch?!
                       STORE MANAGER
Sir, you can either leave on your
own accord or I will have these
gentlemen escort you from the
building. Either way, I won't have
you insulting customers in my
                       MALE CUSTOMER
What the hell happened to "the
customer is always right"?
                       STORE MANAGER
Well, while my store DOES value
it's customers, I won't tolerate
customers that behave like
petulant little children.


                       MALE CUSTOMER
Ya know what? Screw this place. I
ain't shopping here anymore. You
just lost a customer, pal.
                       STORE MANAGER
Can't say that I'm sorry to hear
that, sir.
The security guards stand at the register as the customer
angrily walks away. One guard follows him while the other
stays by the register. He looks over at Katherine and nods
slightly. Katherine smiles and nods back.
                       STORE MANAGER
I apologize for that, Miss Nicole.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I'm sorry? Have we met?
                       STORE MANAGER
No, ma'am. But I've seen you on
the Sunday morning news shows. You
work at the White House, right?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yeah. I'm the, uhh, the Deputy
Communcations Director.
Look, I didn't mean to cause a
scene or anything. It's just been
a rough few days.
                       STORE MANAGER
      (shakes head)
Oh, you didn't. He was the one out
of line, not you.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, thank you. Thank you VERY
Katherine pays for her groceries and as she reaches for her
bags, her phone CHIMES. She reaches in her pocket and pulls
out her phone.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Ohh, holy hell. This can't be


Jack and Karen are hurriedly walking down the hallway as
Katherine comes walking quickly up behind them putting her
phone in her pocket.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (breathing heavily)
So who has this so far?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
One of the interns came across it
online and brought it to me. Not
sure if the source is reputable or
not. I've got my deputy looking
into it right now and she'll let
me know.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Never mind who has it! I want to
know who in the HELL fed it to
them in the first place and I want
to know RIGHT NOW!
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Jack, let's be clear here. As far
as we know, this is just an
unsubstantiated rumor. We don't
really know...
As Jack, Karen, and Katherine reach the Roosevelt Room, Jack
stops walking. He puts a hand to his head and begins pacing.
As he paces back and forth, he pounds his fist on the wall
and turns to Karen.
                       JACK RICHARDS
DAMMIT, KAREN! I don't want to
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Jack! Maybe we should step inside?
Jack looks over at Katherine and then opens the door to the
Roosevelt Room and ushers both Karen and Katherine in. They
both enter and Jack follows behind them and closes the door.
                       JAMES WARREN
      (sighs heavily)
I don't want to hear about whether
it's a rumor or not. I don't want
to hear about speculation. What I


                       JAMES WARREN (cont'd)
DO want to hear is who fed them
this. I want a name and YOU'RE
going to find out who it is? I
want to know who's backside I'm
going to be chewing out. Do I make
myself clear?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Yes, sir.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (to Katherine)
What do you know so far?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Nothing more than you do. There
was some kind of disturbance at a
gay night club. Kim used her panic
button and Secret Service was on
top of it. It's a club that she
reportedly frequents on a regular
                       JACK RICHARDS
We are expected to be naming a VP
nominee in the next few days and
THIS...THIS is the story that's
going to grab the headlines.
Katherine's cell phone RINGS and she pulls it from her
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (to Jack,
It's Kim
                       JACK RICHARDS
Well? Answer it!
Katherine touches the screen on her phone and walks over
towards the table. Jack wrings his hands and then leans
against the wall with his arms folded in front of him.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Kim? O...okay. Lis...Kim? Kim?
Okay, just calm down.
O...ok...okay. Listen to me, Kim.
Just breathe and calm down. Tell
me where you're at?


                       JACK RICHARDS
What's she saying?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Dammit, Jack. She's panicking. And
with good reason to be. So can ya
just STOP with the politics for
one damn second!
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yeah, okay. I'm sorry.
Karen's phone CHIMES and she pulls it from her pocket. She
looks down at it and then over to Jack.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Jack. It's on Drudge.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Damn it.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Kim. Listen to me. Have your
detail take you straight to your
office. Okay? Okay. I'll see you
there in a few.
Kim ends the phone call and slides her phone into her
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I'm sorry, Jack. I was just trying
to get her to calm down.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yeah, I know. I'm sorry.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I was just telling Jack that
Drudge has it.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Secret Service is going to take
her to her office and I'm going to
meet her there. I'll call you when
I've got things sorted out.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Okay. Yeah.
      (to Karen)


                       JACK RICHARDS (cont'd)
See if you can find Alex and tell
him I want to see him in my
office. ASAP!
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Yes, sir.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Listen, Karen. Earlier, when I...
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
      (smiles weakly)
Yeah. I know. No worries.
President Warren and Jack are walking briskly along the
Portico with two Secret Service Agents walking behind them.
                       JAMES WARREN
Who put this all together and how
in the hell did they even figure
it out!
                       JACK RICHARDS
We're working on that, Mr.
President. It may take some time
to figure it all out.
                       JAMES WARREN
To hell with getting something
figured out, Jack! This is beyond
the pale!
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President, right now I need
you to find it in yourself to calm
down. We are working on handling
the situation.
                       JAMES WARREN
Dammit, Jack! Don't present this
to me as if it were an
international crisis. This isn't a
situation. This is my daughter
we're talking about.


President Warren sits down on a nearby bench and runs his
fingers through his hair.
                       JAMES WARREN
      (sighs heavily)
Do you smoke, Jack?
                       JACK RICHARDS
No, Mr. President. I'm sorry, I
A Secret Service Agent reaches into his jacket pocket and
pulls out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter and hands them
to President Warren.
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #2
Mr. President. They're lights, but
it's the best I can do, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you, son.
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #2
You're welcome, Mr. President.
President Warren takes out a cigarette and lights it. He
takes a deep drag and exhales slowly. He hands the
cigarettes and lighter back to the Secret Service Agent.
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #2
You can keep them, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
You sure?
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #2
Yes, sir. The wife's been wanting
me to quit anyway.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well, thank you.
                       SECRET SERVICE AGENT #2
Of course, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
You know what REALLY burns my ass,
                       JACK RICHARDS
My guess would be a flame about
three feet high, Mr. President.


President Warren looks over at Jack and slowly smiles as he
shakes his head. He takes another drag from his cigarette.
                       JAMES WARREN
Did you just get sarcastic with
me, Jack?
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (smiles and
Well, it got you to calm down,
didn't it?
President Warren leans forward, resting his arms on his
knees. He takes a drag from his cigarette and exhales
                       JAMES WARREN
Damn it! Why would they drag her
into this, Jack?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Sir, they may have known this for
some time now and were just
waiting for THE opportune moment
to break this.
                       JAMES WARREN
      (sighs heavily)
This is HER life, Jack. It's who
she is. Is this how they want to
try to take me down? By dragging
my daughter's sexuality into this?
Jack unbuttons his suit jacket and sits down next to
President Warren. He leans forward and shakes his head as he
look over at the President.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (sighs deeply)
James, there are any number of
people who would like to see you
do anything but succeed. And yes,
there are some within my own party
that I count among them.
                       JAMES WARREN
That's the first time you've ever
called me James. You're not going
soft on me now, are you?


                       JACK RICHARDS
No. It's because, right now, I see
you as a father worrying about the
well being of their child and not
as the President. You need someone
to be there for you as a friend,
not as your Chief of Staff.
President Warren looks over at Jack and puts his hand on his
shoulder and pats it.
                       JAMES WARREN
I appreciate that, Jack. It means
a lot to me. It really does.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Any time.
The portico door opens and Katherine and President Warren's
daughter, KIM, walk out. President Warren stands up as his
daughter rushes over to hug him.
                       JAMES WARREN
Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry you had
to go through this. You okay?
      (sniffles, nods)
Yeah, dad. I'm fine.
Katherine walks over to Jack and pulls him to the side. She
glances quickly over at Kim and President Warren, then back
to Jack.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Jack, have you been able to get a
hold of Alex?
                       JACK RICHARDS
Karen's supposed to be tracking
him down. I haven't heard anything
from her yet. Why?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I can't be a hundred per cent
certain, but I think he may have
somehow been involved in this
                       JACK RICHARDS
What do you mean?


                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Listen. Only a handful of people
know that she's the President's
daughter because she uses her
mother's maiden name.
                       JACK RICHARDS
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
And even fewer people know that
she's a lesbian.
Anger comes across Jack's face as he glances over at
President Warren and his daughter as they sit on the bench.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Go find Karen. I'll sit here with
POTUS and Kim until you get back.
I want Alex in my office within
the next hour. Understood?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yeah. Understood.
Katherine walks back over to President Warren and his
daughter and places her hand on Kim's shoulder.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Are you gonna be alright, Kim?
Yeah. I'll be okay. Thank you,
Kim stands up and gives Katherine a tight hug.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Mr. President.
President Warren looks up at Katherine and gently takes her
hand in his.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thanks, Katherine.


President Warren is sitting at his desk reading through some
papers as Mike, Karen, and Katherine walk into the Oval
President Warren looks up briefly as they approach his desk,
then returns to writing down notes on the papers he is
reading through.
                       JAMES WARREN
So. How did your meetings go with
the leadership?
Mike looks down at the floor, then over at Katherine.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
They went well, Mr. President. I
met with Republican Leadership and
Katherine met with the Dems. I
think we made some real progress,
                       JAMES WARREN
Katherine looks over at Mike, then over at President Warren.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yes, sir. We managed to corral a
couple of high profile sponsors
from the Democrats and
President Warren closes the folder he was looking at and
slowly takes off his glasses.
                       JAMES WARREN
What about the Independents?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Katherine and I are going to meet
with their leadership staff
tomorrow over breakfast.
President Warren puts his glasses in his breast pocket as he
stands up and nods his head.
                       JAMES WARREN
Good. You both did a good work


                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Mr. President? How would you like
me to handle this at tomorrow
morning's briefing?
President Warren stands up and grabs his suit jacket from
the chair next to his desk.
                       JAMES WARREN
Ehhh, tell 'em that we're still in
discussions with all parties and
that we're optimistic.
Karen opens her notebook and writes down President Warren's
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I think I can sell that.
President Warren picks up his briefcase as he drapes his
jacket over his arm.
Katherine takes President Warren's jacket as Mike takes his
briefcase. President Warren looks at them both as Katherine
helps him put on his jacket. Mike then hands him his
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you.
Mike smiles and then looks down at a picture on President
Warren's desk. He picks it up and looks at it momentarily,
then sets it back down.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
I never noticed this picture of
President Reagan, sir.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Were you an admirer of his, Mr.
President Warren picks up the folders from his desk and puts
them in his briefcase.
                       JAMES WARREN
Not really, no.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Then why the picture, sir?
President Warren steps away from the desk and fixes the
collar of his jacket.


                       JAMES WARREN
To remind me that it's okay to
wear a tan suit on occasion.
President Warren smiles and pats Mike on the shoulder as he
walks towards the portico door.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Good one, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well, I'm headed to the residence.
Who would care to join me for
bourbon and cigars?
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I would, Mr. President, but I've
got some calls to catch up on.
                       JAMES WARREN
Okay. Thank you, Karen. I'll see
you in the morning.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Cigars and bourbon? I'm game, Mr.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Bourbon and cigars with the leader
of the free world?
President Warren puts a hand on Mike's shoulder and smiles.
                       JAMES WARREN
Not an appealing proposition,
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Quite the opposite, sir.
Mike walks over to the door to the Oval Office as he looks
back to President Warren and Katherine.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Don't keep her up too late, Mr.
      (to Katherine)
Remember, Katherine. We have the
breakfast meeting tomorrow
                       JAMES WARREN
Not much of a drinker, Mike?


                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Actually, I'll have to take a rain
check, Mr. President. I need to
head home and spend some time with
the wife and kid.
                       JAMES WARREN
And how is the little one doing?
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
I think she has a future as a big
league pitcher, sir. With the way
she keeps hurling her plastic
blocks at me.
                       JAMES WARREN
Give your wife my best, Mike. And
convey my sincerest apologies for
keeping you here 'til all hours of
the night.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
No need to apologize, sir. She
knows the job. It's what she
signed up for.
President Warren walks over to Mike and the two shake hands.
                       JAMES WARREN
In all seriousness though. No
foolin'. I really appreciate all
you've done these past couple
weeks. I couldn't have managed it
without you. Thank you.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
I serve at the pleasure of the
President. Good night, sir.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Good night, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Good night, you two.
Mike and Karen exit the Oval Office and President Warren
turns to Katherine.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well. It looks like it's just you
and me, Deputy Communications


                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yes, Mr. President.
President Warren and Katherine walk towards the portico door
and a Secret Service Agent outside opens it for them.
The President opens the door to his study and ushers
Katherine in. She walks in and the President follows behind
her. As she looks around the study, President Warren walks
over to his desk and opens a humidor and picks up 2 cigars.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
This is actually the first time
I've ever been in the President's
private study, sir. Very nice.
President Warren snips the end of both cigars and hands
Katherine one. He picks up a lighter and lights her cigar.
                       JAMES WARREN
President Stevens never had you to
the residence?
Katherine continues to look around the study as she runs her
hand along the back of one of the chairs.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I think it was more FLOTUS than
President Stevens.
I was told that there would also
be bourbon.
President Warren lights his cigar and puts the lighter back
on the desk. He walks over to a cabinet and opens the doors.
He pulls out a bottle of bourbon, opens it and pours 2
                       JAMES WARREN
You didn't get along with the
First Lady?
President Warren hands Katherine one of the glasses and
gestures for her have a seat on the couch as he sits down.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, I wouldn't exactly say that
we didn't get along.


                       JAMES WARREN
What WOULD you say then?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I think I'll take the Fifth on
that one, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Duly noted.
      (sips drink)
Listen, I've really appreciated
your support over these couple of
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
My support, Mr. President?
                       JAMES WARREN
Yeah. There were a few times that
you came down pretty hard on Alex.
President Warren takes a sip from his drink and looks over
at Katherine. Katherine grins slightly as she looks down at
her drink.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Aaahhhh. Yeah.
Alex and I don't always see eye to
eye on things. I know it's no
secret that he wasn't...
                       JAMES WARREN
He isn't a big fan of mine. Yeah,
I know.
President Warren takes a couple of puffs on his cigar and
then a sip from his drink.
                       JAMES WARREN
I also happen to know that you and
Karen were the only Senior
Staffers who supported me as the
VP choice.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yes, Mr. President, we were. Mike?
He's been on the fence. And may
very well still be.


                       JAMES WARREN
Understand, I didn't bring you
here to rat anybody out.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Oh. Sir...I-I didn't mean to
                       JAMES WARREN
Relax, Katherine. We're off the
clock up here.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yes, sir.
President Warren finishes his drink and gets up from his
chair. Katherine finishes hers and hands him her glass. He
walks back over to the liquor cabinet and pours them each
another drink.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
In all honesty, I think it was my
political leanings that she wasn't
very fond of.
                       JAMES WARREN
I'm sorry?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
The reason that the First Lady
never had me to the Residence.
                       JAMES WARREN
Oh. So, your politics were an
issue with her?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (nods head)
I support a lot of issues that
she's strongly opposed to.
President Warren walks back over and hands Katherine her
drink as he sits down.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Being a Democrat, I tend to ruffle
quite a few feathers in this
                       JAMES WARREN
You're a Democrat?


                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yes, sir. Much to the
consternation of my dad, I am
indeed a Democrat.
                       JAMES WARREN
I started out as a Democrat. Most
of my family are Democrats. My
grandfather was a New Dealer.
Katherine takes a puff from her cigar and then a sip from
her drink. She then looks over at President Warren.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
If you don't mind me asking, sir.
How did you become an Independent?
President Warren takes a sip from his drink as he sits
quietly for a moment. He then takes a puff from his cigar
and looks over at Katherine.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well. When I first got into the
Senate, I saw that political
ideology was more of a driving
force than was doing the work of
our constituents.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
But isn't that the way that it's
always been...sir?
                       JAMES WARREN
Yeah. I guess so.
Katherine sets her glass on the end table next to the couch
and looks over at President Warren.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
But now your constituents are the
entire nation, Mr. President.
President Warren takes a long puff from his cigar and slowly
exhales. He stares at the wall for a moment.
                       JAMES WARREN
Yeah. But as politicians, we
should still do the work of the
people, not that of the special


                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Mr. President. You're not like
most of the politicians out there.
President Warren looks over at Katherine as he sets his
drink on the end table.
                       JAMES WARREN
I'm sorry?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, you've been very open about
most aspects of your life.
                       JAMES WARREN
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
And you don't tout things like the
fact that you're a recipient of
the C.M.H.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well, that's because it's pretty
much common knowledge.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
True. But you've been very open
about your atheism, your
depression, and the fact that you
sought help for that.
Katherine picks up her drink and finishes it off. She sets
her glass down as she looks over at President Warren.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Not every politician would divulge
that sort of information and would
do everything they could to hide
it. I think that's why people
connect with you, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
I suppose so.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Mr. President. I don't mean to
speculate but I think that those
attributes are very rare in
politics today. It shows that
you're human.


President Warren finishes his drink and sets his glass on
the table. He takes a puff from his cigar and slowly
                       JAMES WARREN
So, when did you take up smoking
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Well, it was actually a tradition
that my dad and I started. During
the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when our
team would move on to the next
round, we would each have a cigar.
President Warren grabs their glasses and walks over to pour
them each another drink.
                       JAMES WARREN
A hockey fan! Who's your team?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I'm a Blackhawks girl. And you,
President Warren hands Katherine another drink as he sits
back down in his chair.
                       JAMES WARREN
Also a Blackhawks fan. Saw my
first game when my father took us
on a trip to Chicago. It was in
the old Madhouse on Madison.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
The Chicago Stadium?! Oh, I
would've given ANYTHING to see a
game there.
                       JAMES WARREN
It was a hell of an atmosphere.
Somehow, my dad arranged for my
brother, sister and I to meet the
players after the game. I was
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I was working in Philly back in
2010 when they won the Cup. I was
the only girl in the bar with a
Hawks sweater on. A red sweater in
a sea of orange.


President Warren takes a puff from his cigar and holds his
glass up.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well here's to our beloved
Blackhawks then.
Katherine holds her glass up to the President's as she
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
To the Blackhawks.
President Warren is sitting at his desk as Jack walks in.
Jack walks over to the chair next the President's desk and
unbuttons his suit jacket as he sits down.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President.
President Warren takes his glasses off and sets them on the
desk as he sits back in his chair.
                       JAMES WARREN
She's on her way over?
                       JACK RICHARDS
She should be here momentarily,
                       JAMES WARREN
Where are you on this, Jack?
Jack looks over at President Warren then down at the floor
as he slowly nods his head.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I think it's the smart play, Mr.
President. I mean, the worse that
can happen is that she declines.
                       JAMES WARREN
Do you think she will?
Jack looks at President Warren and shrugs. President Warren
lightly nods as he picks up his glasses and slips them into
his breast pocket.


                       JACK RICHARDS
It's a tough call, Mr. President.
There is a KNOCK on the door and President Warren's
secretary opens the door.
Mr. President?
                       JAMES WARREN
She's here, sir.
President Warren looks over at Jack and shrugs.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well, I guess we're about to find
President Warren and Jack both stand up as SENATOR WILKES, a
fit fifty-something woman walks into the Oval Office.
President Warren walks over to meet her and shakes her hand.
                       JAMES WARREN
Senator Wilkes. Thank you for
                       SENATOR WILKES
Of course, Mr. President.
President Warren turns to Jack to introduce him.
                       JAMES WARREN
Senator, you of course know my
Chief of Staff, Jack Richards.
Senator Wilkes turn to Jack and shakes his hand.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Of course I do. He was
instrumental in President Stevens
taking on my Abuse Survivor's
Rights Initiative.
                       JACK RICHARDS
It was my pleasure, senator. It
was an important piece of


                       SENATOR WILKES
Well, it's a shame that more of
your Republican brethren didn't
see it the same way.
President Warren gestures for Senator Wilkes to have a seat
and they both sit down.
                       JACK RICHARDS
      (to President
I'll leave you two to talk.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thanks, Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Senator Wilkes.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Good to see you, Jack.
Senator Wilkes and President Warren watch as Jack exits the
Oval Office.
                       JAMES WARREN
So, Senator Wilkes.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Sara is fine, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Okay. Sara. I suppose you know why
I've asked you to come here.
Senator Wilkes smiles as she nods her head. She crosses her
legs and clasps her hands together.
                       SENATOR WILKES
I have an idea as to why, yes, Mr.
                       JAMES WARREN
So word has leaked out then.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Well, when friends and family
start getting contacted by the
FBI, word tends to spread pretty
                       JAMES WARREN
I suppose so.


                       SENATOR WILKES
You're not going with Speaker
President Warren sits back in his chair as he chuckles.
                       JAMES WARREN
It was considered, but she's more
of an asset as Speaker. We need a
strong ally in the House, so we
decided against it.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Mr. President. I've only been in
the Senate for a short time.
Barely two terms.
                       JAMES WARREN
Sara, I have been a big fan of
yours since your days in the state
Senator Wilkes' jaw drops as she looks over at President
                       SENATOR WILKES
                       JAMES WARREN
Yeah. You're a Moderate Democrat
with a strong presence in the
Senate and a willingness to work
with the other parties.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Yes, Mr. President.
                       JAMES WARREN
Would you care for a drink?
President Warren stands up and walks over to the drink cart.
Senator stands and walks over with him.
                       SENATOR WILKES
I'd love one, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Is scotch okay?
                       SENATOR WILKES
Scotch is fine, Mr. President.


President Warren pours them each a drink and hands one to
Senator Wilkes.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Thank you, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
I've been especially impressed
with your work on the Senate Armed
Forces Committee. You're very
passionate about our men and women
in the military.
                       SENATOR WILKES
      (nods lightly)
And their families, sir.
President Warren takes a sip from his drink and looks over
at Senator Wilkes.
                       JAMES WARREN
I don't want someone to do the
simple glad handling and
ceremonial duties.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Of course.
                       JAMES WARREN
I want someone who will have a
strong presence on this team...
      (sips drink)
...and little patience for
                       SENATOR WILKES
I understand, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Just like President Stevens
expected of me.
Senator Wilkes looks down at the floor then up at President
as she takes a sip of her drink and grins.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Well, you might have to do some
political strong arming to get a
confirmation, Mr. President.
Namely with the Conservatives.
They've never been particularly
fond of me.


President Warren nods his head as he chuckles.
                       JAMES WARREN
Well, ya don't need to tell me
about that.
President Warren takes a sip of his drink and looks over at
Senator Wilkes.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Ahhhh, yes. The atheism.
                       JAMES WARREN
Just outta curiosity. What ARE
your feelings about that?
Senator Wilkes takes a deep breath and exhales slowly as she
looks down at the floor. She then looks up at President
Warren as she smiles.
                       SENATOR WILKES
The Constitution provides for the
free exercise of religion, Mr.
President. And I believe that
includes the freedom FROM religion
as well. While I consider myself
to be a spiritual person, I
personally have no problems with
it, sir.
                       JAMES WARREN
Good to know.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Mr. President, I'm honored that
you have the confidence in me to
extend the offer.
                       JAMES WARREN
Does that mean that you'll accept
the offer?
Senator Wilkes looks down at her drink as she runs a finger
around the edge of the glass. She then looks over at
President Warren.
                       SENATOR WILKES
Mr. President, I would be honored
to accept.
Both President Warren and Senator Wilkes stand and shake
hands. As they walk towards the Oval Office door, Jack walks
in followed by several military officers.


                       JAMES WARREN
Jack. The sena...
                       JACK RICHARDS
Mr. President. We have a
                       JAMES WARREN
What's going on?
                       JACK RICHARDS
We're in the Situation Room.
      (to Senator Wilkes)
Senator, if you'll excuse us?
                       SENATOR WILKES
Of course.
      (to President
Mr. President.
The reporters in the briefing room are talking among
themselves as several of them are flipping through their
notepads. Some reporters occasionally glance at their
Jack walks into the briefing room, followed by Karen and the
reporters take their seats. Jack steps behind the podium as
Karen stands off to his right.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Good afternoon.
Jack lays his notebook down on the podium and opens it. He
glances around at the reporters
                       JACK RICHARDS
Good afternoon.
                       JACK RICHARDS
There has been a bit of
speculation as of late that I
intend to resign as White House
Chief of Staff and seek the
Republican nomination for the
An aide steps down from the riser and begins handing out
folders to the reporters. Jack watches briefly.


                       JACK RICHARDS
Earlier this morning, I dispatched
a letter to the Chair of the
Republican National Committee in
which I informed her of my
decision to resign as a member of
the Republican Party.
The reporters let out a collective gasp as they all start
jotting down notes. Cameras CLICK and FLASH as Jack looks up
from his notes and glances at the reporters.
Several reporters hold up their hands and start shouting out
Jack holds up a hand as he looks out at the reporters.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Please. If you could all just hold
your questions until after my
statement. Thank you.
The reporters all sit back in their seats as they listen
intently. Their eyes fixed on Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
As I said, I informed her of my
decision to resign from the party.
Jack is sitting at his desk going through several files as
he occasionally glances at the TV he has on. He shakes his
head and chuckles as the reporter on the news channel
comments on the upcoming VP announcement.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Conventional wisdom? A bit of an
oxymoron here in Washington.
As Jack closes the file in his hand, there is a KNOCK on his
                       JACK RICHARDS
The door opens and Katherine walks in. As she walks over to
Jack's desk, he grabs the TV remote and mutes the volume.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Umm, listen. Do you have a second?


Jack motions for Katherine to have a seat as he sits back in
his chair.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Sure. What's on your mind?
Katherine sets her notebook and the chair next to her and
sits back. She nervously looks around the room before
looking at Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Katherine? What is it?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I need to talk to you about
something that happened the other
A puzzled look comes across Jack's face as he moves forward
on his chair.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Well, you're going to have to be a
bit more specific. We've had quite
a few things happening.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
      (sighs heavily)
The other night, after the thing
with Kim. The President asked me
to the residence for a drink.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Katherine, if this is about what
happened between you and the
President, I already know about
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
You do? How did...
      (pauses and sighs)
He told you, didn't he?
Jack gets up from his chair and walks over to the chair next
to Katherine. She moves her notebook and he takes a seat
next to her.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Yeah. We talked about it.
      (pauses, chuckles)
Actually, he was more nervous
talking about it than you are now.


Katherine slowly shakes her head and smiles simultaneously
then looks over at Jack.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
HE was nervous about it? Do you
know how long I've been debating
with myself about this?
Jack chuckles and pats Katherine's hand. He then sits back
in the chair and chuckles again.
                       JACK RICHARDS
Look. I know that I come across as
rather gruff at times. But you've
seen the job. I have to juggle
quite a number of things in my
duties as Chief of Staff.
Jack gets up and walks behind his desk. He sits down and
clasps his hands together as he rocks back in his chair and
                       JACK RICHARDS
Katherine? You and the President
are consenting adults. And the way
he explained it to me is that you
both stopped yourselves before
anything actually happened.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yeah. Well, Kim walked in on us
before we...
                       JACK RICHARDS
There was no coercion. It was
mutual. Right?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
                       JACK RICHARDS
Let me ask you this. Is this
something that you'd like to
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
I'd like to. Yes.


                       JACK RICHARDS
Then far be it from me to try and
quash something between two
mutually consenting adults.
Katherine lets out a deep breath and smiles.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Thank you, Jack.
                       JACK RICHARDS
You do realize though that you'll
have to offer your resignation.
Katherine opens her notebook and slowly pulls out a sheet of
paper. She hands it to Jack who takes it and looks it over.
He then look back up at Katherine and smiles.
                       JACK RICHARDS
I hate to lose you, Katherine.
You've been a hell of a
Communications Deputy.
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Thank you, Jack. That really means
a lot to me.
      (quietly clears
And, umm, if I might add, it has
been an honor working for you.
I've always cherished your trust
and confidence in me.
Katherine and Jack both stand up and Jack walks around to
the front of the desk and gives Katherine a hug. They hold
each other tightly for a moment then release their embrace.
As Katherine steps back, she gently wipes tears from her
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Are you, umm...you're going to
take care of this?
                       JACK RICHARDS
He's in the residence now. I'll go
up and talk to him. Give me a few
minutes before you go up, okay?
                       KATHERINE NICOLE
Yeah. Okay.


Jack and Katherine walk over to his office door and Jack
puts his hand on the door knob. He pauses and looks over at
Katherine and smiles.
A crowded East Room of the White House. Several members of
the press are gathered and talking among themselves. Several
cameras CLICK as photographers get pictures of the empty
podium and those gathered to hear President Warren's
remarks. After a few moments, Karen walks to the podium.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I'd like to thank you all for
      (clears throat)
In a few moments, President Warren
will step to the podium to make
his farewell address. As this is a
farewell statement, the President
will not be taking any questions.
A White House staffer walks over to the podium and whispers
to Karen who nods her head.
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
Ladies and gentlemen. The
President of the United States.
Karen steps back as the entire room stands and begins
clapping. President Warren walks up to the podium as
Katherine and Kim follow and stand beside him. His Senior
Staff then follow and line up behind him. The President
smiles and nods as the clapping continues.
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you.
As the cameras CLICK and FLASH, President Warren continues
to nod and smile as he puts up a hand to signal the room to
stop clapping. As the clapping continues, he puts up both
                       JAMES WARREN
Thank you. Thank...thank you.
The clapping slowly quiets down as those in the room take
their seats.


                       JAMES WARREN
      (voice trembling)
Thank you all, very, VERY much.
President Warren looks over at Katherine and Kim and nods to
them both.
                       JAMES WARREN
I, uhh, I wanted to take this
opportunity to...
      (clears throat)
...to thank you all for your hard
work, support, and dedication
during our time here in the White
The audience starts clapping again and President Warren
smiles as he shakes his head. He reaches back and takes
Katherine's hand in his as the clapping slowly stops.
                       JAMES WARREN
We were able to get quite a bit
done in our time here. And in
doing so, we also laid the
foundation for further legislation
President Warren looks down briefly then back up to the
audience in the room. He reaches into the breast pocket of
his jacket and takes out a handkerchief and pats his eyes
with it.
                       JAMES WARREN
You can ALL be very proud of the
work you've done here. All of you
chose to answer the call to a
higher purpose. And if you'll
allow me a moment to wax
philosophic and borrow a line from
David Bowie, in doing so you
became heroes. Not just for one
day, but for all days to come.
As the audience begins another round of clapping, Mike leans
closer to Karen and taps her shoulder.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Any gig we get after this is going
to pale in comparison to what
we've done here.


                       KAREN MARTINEZ
I should think so.
                       MIKE BRADSHAW
Do you have any idea why he
invited us to the residence after
                       KAREN MARTINEZ
      (shakes head)
Nope. Not a clue.


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